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Fucoidan, a major component of brown seaweed, prohibits the growth of human cancer cell lines in vitro

Department of Pathology and Pediatric Surgery, Kurume University School of Medicine, Fukuoka 830-0011, Japan. .
Molecular Medicine Reports (Impact Factor: 1.48). 07/2008; 1(4):537-42. DOI: 10.3892/mmr.1.4.537
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Fucoidan, the general term for sulfated polysaccharides, is reported to engage in various biological activities having anti-tumor, anti-coagulation and anti-viral effects. Though it has been investigated, the mechanism of its anti-tumor effects remains elusive. The current study examined the anti-tumor effects of fucoidan extracted from Okinawa mozuku on 15 human cancer cell lines (6 hepatocellular carcinomas, 1 cholangiocarcinoma, 1 gallbladder cancer, 2 ovarian cancers, 1 hepatoblastoma, 1 neuroblastoma and 3 renal cancers) using an MTT assay. Changes in apoptosis and the cell cycle were analyzed by flow cytometry. The results revealed that cell proliferation was suppressed in 13 cell lines in a time- and/or dose-dependent manner; this suppression was marked in the hepatocellular carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma and gallbladder carcinoma cell lines. In contrast, proliferation of the neuroblastoma and 1 of the 2 ovarian carcinoma cell lines was not affected. The ratio of apoptotic cells significantly increased in 5 of the 6 hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines, and the ratio of G2/M cells increased in the 3 hepatocellular cell lines examined. These observations indicate that fucoidan is a potential anti-tumor agent for the treatment of bile duct cancers, such as hepatocellular carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma and gall-bladder carcinoma.

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    • "Although fucoidan exerts various pharmacological activities, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer effects (Riou et al., 1996; Li et al., 2008; Fukahori et al., 2008; Saitoh et al., 2009; Fitton, 2011; Senni et al., 2011; Park et al., 2011b, 2013; Zhang et al., 2011, 2013; Wang et al., 2012; Lee et al., 2012; Liu et al., 2012; Hsu et al., 2013; Xue et al., 2013; Yang et al., 2013; Senthilkumar et al., 2013; Park et al., 2014; Banafa et al., 2013; Chen et al., 2014; Senthilkumar and Kim, 2014; Wang et al., 2014), the anti-cancer activity of fucoidan in human bladder cancer cells has rarely been reported. Therefore, we elucidated the ability of fucoidan to inhibit the growth of human bladder cancer EJ cells. "
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    ABSTRACT: Fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide found in marine algae and brown seaweeds, has been shown to inhibit the in vitro growth of human cancer cells. This study was conducted in cultured human bladder cancer EJ cells to elucidate the possible mechanisms by which fucoidan exerts its anti-proliferative activity, which until now has remained poorly understood. Fucoidan treatment of EJ cells resulted in dose-dependent inhibition of cell growth and induced apoptotic cell death. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that fucoidan led to G1 arrest in cell cycle progression. It was associated with down-regulation of cyclin D1, cyclin E, and cyclin-dependent-kinases (Cdks) in a concentration-dependent manner, without any change in Cdk inhibitors, such as p21 and p27. Furthermore, dephosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein (pRB) by this compound was associated with enhanced binding of pRB with the transcription factors E2F-1 and E2F-4. Overall, our results demonstrate that fucoidan possesses anticancer activity potential against bladder cancer cells by inhibiting pRB phosphorylation.
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